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News Release Archive:

News Release 672 of 953

June 11, 1998 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1998-21

A Bright Ring of Star Birth around a Galaxy's Core

June 11, 1998: This Hubble telescope snapshot reveals clusters of infant stars that formed in a ring around the core of the barred-spiral galaxy NGC 4314. This stellar nursery, whose inhabitants were created within the past 5 million years, is the only place in the entire galaxy where new stars are being born.

This close-up view also illustrates other interesting details in the galaxy's core: dust lanes, a smaller bar of stars, dust and gas embedded in the stellar ring, and an extra pair of spiral arms packed with young stars. These details make the center resemble a miniature version of a spiral galaxy. The black-and-white image on the left, taken by a ground-based telescope, shows the entire galaxy.

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Credits: G. Fritz Benedict, Andrew Howell, Inger Jorgensen, David Chapell (University of Texas), Jeffery Kenney (Yale University), and Beverly J. Smith (CASA, University of Colorado), and NASA